Customers have become highly discerning about support and service and expect businesses to meet their expectations. As technology evolves, so do customers who demand their issues be resolved within minutes and at the first interaction.
a large percentage of consumers will not hesitate to sever relations with businesses that fall short of their expectations.
Customer service is no longer just about finding a prompt solution to a particular problem. It is about building a long-term relationship that offers greater opportunities for deeper engagement with customers.
Preference for online self-service options and live chat to resolve complex issues increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. And 75 percent of customers want to continue using these channels post-pandemic. They also expect interactions to be personalized and contextual.
To offer customers authentic experiences, support teams are streamlining tasks by investing in tools like:
- AI-enabled online customer knowledge bases and chatbots
- Automated ticketing platforms
- CRM software
With such tools, agents can focus on improving customer experiences and prioritizing retention. How can an online knowledge base help?
Why Do You Need an Online Knowledge Base?
An up-to-date article knowledge base supports customer service agents by helping customers quickly find answers to their most common questions.
More than 60 percent of US customers prefer to seek answers online via automated self-service portals.
Frequently asked questions and tickets can be converted into articles and resources that enable customers to self-serve.
Knowledge bases also have search functions, much like search engines or online encyclopedias.
How an Online Knowledge Base Saves Costs
Knowledge bases boost the efficiency of customer service teams by serving as a searchable repository for agents and as a time-saving resource that allows agents to focus on deeper, more complex customer issues.
Your business can realize cost savings and revenue increases with knowledge bases in the following ways.
Improved Search Engine Visibility
69 percent of customers find it challenging to find the answers to their questions on the company website.
By using a knowledge base platform with SEO tools, businesses can increase the online visibility of their resources. More visibility means more organic traffic and links pointing to your self-service content.
Decreased Staff Attrition
Handling repetitive conversations wears out service agents and leads to high staff attrition. Service agents feel burned out and undervalued when faced with heavy workloads and more responsibilities but little support.
A carefully crafted knowledge base that uses the customer’s vocabulary and is easy to use prevents repetitive queries. Less attrition saves hiring and training costs and improves employee morale.
Internal and customer-facing knowledge bases help save time by acting as a ready reference tool for service agents and freeing agents from answering repetitive questions.
Agents can then devote more time to building deeper relationships with customers. Customers are also happy to have a quick and easy channel for problem resolution.
More Informed Customers
70 percent of customers prefer to use a business’s website to find answers to their questions. An up-to-date, searchable knowledge base empowers customers to find solutions to common problems.
Companies can ensure that customers are more informed by creating resources around commonly asked questions about the product or service in online communities and forums. This reduces the need to turn for help to more expensive support channels.
Reduced Staff Requirement
Since you don’t need as many service agents to handle a large volume of tickets and calls, having a knowledge base reduces your reliance on a large service team.
Businesses can also choose to divert the efforts of their service staff to more value-added, strategic tasks.
Fewer Item Returns
A ready knowledge base can solve the complaints and queries of this new breed of online users resulting in fewer item returns. Returns are expensive for businesses, but they also indicate a poor customer experience.
Greater Training Opportunities
An online knowledge base opens new opportunities for service agents to upskill themselves. By answering easy questions through the self-serve channel, agents face challenging issues that help them learn.
Better skilled agents can resolve complex issues quickly and do them upon first interaction.
In terms of cost per user, a knowledge base can cost between $5 per month and more than $400 per month.
Most service providers offer discounts on annual subscriptions. Free versions with limited features are also available, but they’re not as helpful.
Calculation: How You Can Save ~$10,000 Per Month with an Online Knowledge Base
Did you know that less than 30 percent of customer service agents feel empowered to do their jobs?
If your company is like most, your agents waste way too much time looking up relevant information.
- A McKinsey report found that the average service agent spends nearly 20 percent of their time searching for internal information or seeking coworkers who can help with specific tasks.
- It also discovered that a searchable knowledge base could reduce the time spent looking for information by as much as 35 percent.
Let’s break down the cost of this wasted time, and the savings brought about with a knowledge base.
If an agent works for eight hours per day, five days a week, and 50 weeks a year, they put in 400 hours simply looking for the correct information. 8 hours each day X 5 days each week X 50 weeks each year = 2,000 hours each year
Time spent looking for information = 20% of 2,000 hours each year = 400 hours each year. We’ve established that a knowledge base can save up to 35 percent of this time.
Therefore, time saved each year = 35% of 400 hours each year = 140 hours each year. Now let’s see how this time translates into dollar savings.
According to Trading Economics, the average wage of a US worker in February 2022 was $26.94 per hour.
As each agent saves 140 hours each year with a knowledge base, the cost savings are: 140 hours each year X $26.94 per hour = $3771.6 each year.
So, if you have a business with 100 employees, you can realize cost savings of $377,160 each year in terms of productivity.
If we assume that the average investment in a knowledge base will be $200 per user per month, your business needs to invest $240,000 each year.
Therefore, if your business invests $240,000 each year in a knowledge base that saves it $377,160 each year, your total productivity savings are: $377,160 – $240,000 = $137,160 each year or $11,430 each month!
When translated into company dollars, the value of an online knowledge base is clear, and it can be used to secure C-suite buy-in.
With nearly 40 percent of customer service managers reporting that their company views customer service as an expense instead of an investment, tangible evidence of cost benefits is necessary to convince them otherwise.
Customers are looking for streamlined, helpful, and always-on support agents, human or automated.
Knowledge bases are an accessible and practical tool to elevate the quality of your customer support and overall customer experience.